The Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of trustees is scheduled to have its first board meeting today, March 8, 2021, at 10am at the NMTI campus in Lower Base.
The board hopes this meeting will give it the momentum in officially moving forward as a technical institute. As the trustees continue to work in completing the remaining items from the Transition Committee, board chair Mario Valentino made it very clear to the current “Trades Institute” employees and staff that they remain committed to them and the progression of NMTI for the community.
Valentino, along with trustees Catherine Attao and Rick Kautz, met with some of the NMTI staff and instructors on Friday to address the false information they received on Thursday that the NMTI campus will be closed down. The board of trustees clarified that NMTI is not closing down and that the goal for everyone involved is to move forward as a public technical institute.
Valentino provided an overview of the transition process for employees and staff on Friday.
“We are not here to point fingers. What’s done is done. We need to move forward. This is a time where we need everybody’s support. We understand that this time is very sensitive to the current “Trades” employees and the students. Let’s be part of the solution. We need everybody. This is not about you against me. We are all NMTI. We are here for the students, and you are our commitment. Now that we are a government entity, there are more legal and procedural steps to it. We just can’t sign things and push things around. There is a process. We don’t have to like it or agree with it. We just have to get through it and comply,” Valentino told employees.
As the transition continues, the board of trustees was notified that the land where the current “Trades” campus is located has now been officially turned over to the “Technical Institute” and the board.
“The trustees are grateful [to Public Lands Secretary] Marianne Teregeyo and her team at the Department of Public Lands. This is one more item from the ‘unfinished tasks’ of the Transition Committee. We also met with Secretary of Labor Vicky Benavente and had a very positive meeting in establishing a timeline with CW funds. We would like to thank them for their support in helping the Technical Institute with these critical elements to help momentum moving forward,” Valentino said.
The Technical Institute board noted that support from the entire community is important in moving NMTI in the right direction.
“We need all the support we can get because this Technical Institute is for our students and our community. We definitely look forward to further partnerships with all stakeholders as we strive to give our islands a world-class technical institute with successful students who will bring skills needed for our economy to thrive. Our goal is to be transparent with all our processes, while upholding a high standard of integrity and professionalism in all we do. We are here for the community and our students need to always be in the center of our priority. We look forward to having our next meeting at the Northern Marianas Technical Institute Campus and continue the positive momentum,” said Valentino. (PR)